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Ryan's "Hope to compete again in 2014" log

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Nice to see you today! You're still the biggest Vegan I've ever seen! Let's hang out tomorrow and get a training session in next time we're both in L.A. later this year.


I like your training log. I still find motivation all the time when read your posts. It helps me train big!

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It was good to see you again as well, Robert! I wish we'd had more time to hang out, but this show was way more of a rush to get things done than last year. Oh well, we'll find a way to meet up this summer!


Back again after what I hope to be my last business-related trip until fall, ate like crap this weekend, too way too much advantage of the oragnic beer and wine tasting (hey, I had to get my $10 worth, and I think I did it 4 times over in less than an hour...), ate nothing but food samples for 3 days, slept horribly and walked about 8 miles per day. One full day to recover and it's time to get back to training again for deadlift day -


12" DLs in the rack (about 6" off ground level pulling height) -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 315

1x5 @ 405

1x3 @ 455

3x3, 2x2, 1x1 @ 500

Wanted more, but I was totally fried after that, particularly with the rough week beforehand. Didn't help either that I forgot my chalk, so I had a few that came down pretty quick on the 3rd rep since they were starting to slip. I thought about a set of 20 @ 315, but I pulled once and my back wanted to know what the hell I was thinking, so that was enough of those.


Goofed a bit on some DB benching, just a few warm-up sets then 1x14 with a pair of 100s and that was all. Went back to work, did 10 sets of 20 push-ups just because I was still feeling like doing something (only had 40 minutes in the gym because it waited too long to go), and that was it.


A day off, then it'll be some rowing on back day again.

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Light back workout today -


Barbell rows -

1x10 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x4 @ 315

Wasn't feeling it for going heavier, dropped to 225 and did 1x15 with that.


Snatch-grip high pulls from below the knee in the power rack -

4x3 @ 225 to about mid-chest height


Barbell Hise Shrugs in the power rack -

1x10 @ 315, 405, 475, 545


Light pulldowns for 3x15 @ 160 and that's it for today. Still really worn out for some reason (post-trip drain is likely the reason as this happens every time I fly somewhere about a week afterward), will get to leg workout on Monday after another day to rest up.

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Bad shoulder day, worked up to a push press double @ 265 and it felt heavy, gotta skip doing those push-ups for a bit since it took days for my triceps to recover from doing 300+ in one session I did 105 more than the 200 I'd listed in a previous entry to make 305 total).


Leg workout - did some Good Mornings in the rack, 2" above parallel. Worked up to 3x11 @ 405 lbs. (not quite 12 because I lost my groove at the end of every set ) Still, a step in the right direction and it'll help my squat and DL.


1 sets of lying leg curls, 20 reps @ 170 lbs.


Ended up WAY short on time, was supposed to get there with 75 minutes or more, ended up with 40 after tons of delays getting out of work.


Went back to the office, grabbed a 40 lb. jug from the water cooler, did some 1-legged RDLs with it, 3x20 and 2x30 for a nice soreness in the glutes and a bit of endurance work. Wrapped up with 2 sets of swings with each arm, 20 reps each arm for each set.


Tomorrow is hiking, then I may do a goof-off session on Wednesday with some shrugging, light upper back work and other random stuff and then it's back to deadlifts on Friday!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been a rough couple of weeks and lifting (at least, good lifting, anyway...) had taken a back seat, but life is better now and it was time to get serious again. Only fun thing with lifting lately is that I found that at the new gym I go to that I can max out the Hammer Strength rowing machine pretty easily - 450 lbs. looks pretty impressive on it, but it sure doesn't feel that hard. Still, always a fun thing to get a few strange looks from people who think that it's a whole lot of weight


Haven't had a good squat session in a while, so I decided that I wanted to work up a bit more endurance and get at least 3 sets of 8-10 reps @ 405 within the next 2 months. Today was re-entry day, and while I felt like it was going to kill me, it all worked out in the end.


Started with my nemesis, front squats -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 225

1x1 @ 275

1x1 @ 315 - easier than usual, went for a PR with 345, failed about a foot out of rock bottom. I still suck with these, but hopefully I can turn that around by working them more often than my normal once every 4-6 weeks.


Back squats were next -

1x3 @ 345

1x1 @ 405

1x1 @ 455 - I always find that if I go for a single with 50-100 lbs. more than my working sets that everything feels so much easier.

5x5 @ 405 - succeeded with my mission, two weeks I'll go for 4-5 sets of 6 @ 405 and add some reps on. I'll be alternating full squat weeks with some heavy work going from half squats to shorter range lockouts, overloading quite a bit for 5-10 reps per set. Next week I'm going to go for some sets of 10 for half squats so we'll see what happens.


Went home since I ran out of time (as usual), had some more leg work in store in the basement -


1-leg RDLs, using an EZ curl bar since I couldn't find the only collars that fit my thick handled DBs (I don't think I have a DB with a handle under 2" diameter, and my regular collars won't stay on them.)

2x20 @ 75 lbs. per leg, never letting the leg that goes back touch the floor

1x15 " "

Too worn out to finish the 20 - felt like I was going to pass out, my glutes and some hip stabilizer muscles felt like they were about to flee right off my body so that was all I could muster


The RDLs were alternated with some glute/ham raises, done close to a full upright on each rep but my terribly low basement ceiling causes me to often cut them short by a little bit at the top for fear of smashing my head on a support beam. Did 3x15 for these.


Legs are destroyed now, time for rest, in for some upper back work in 2 days.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been away for a bit while re-prioritizing this past month. I've felt quite sluggish and not all too healthy, espeically after the long, stressful and sickness-riddled winter, so I've decided that I'm taking the next month or so to drop some excess weight and just work on my conditioning for a while to get back to feeling better. I'm working on getting from my old weight of 275-280 lbs. down to a leaner 260ish, so far, down to 270.5 after a week of eating clean (which I haven't done in years) and reducing calories slightly. I'm also temporarily going to be doing high rep/lighter weight stuff just because it's the best way for my body to shed some fat, so while I expect to lose a bit of strength, it'll all be good in the end and I'll re-bulk on a much better diet come summer.


Can't remember much about the last few workouts, but today was the following:


- Hang Snatch to overhead squat - warmed up for a set of 10 with the emty bar


- Snatch grip high pull, getting bar to top of chest on each pull - 1x8 @ 135


- Power snatch, re-setting completely between each rep - 3x5 @ 135

This one usually winded the hell out of me just doing sets of 3, so I can already tell that I'm getting my endurance up a bit. 5s were easy, could have probably done 1-2 more reps per set but I'm starting slow.


- Snatch grip high pull - 1x5 @ 225 to mid chest height, very easy


- In between I started doing sets of DB benching, palms facing in and arms perpendicular to my sides, working triceps more than chest. Did 3x10 and 2x12 with a pair of 95s, not all too difficult, never went to failure.


- Wrapped up with light deadlifts, 3x12 @ 315, done quickly and all sets very easy. I was quite winded after each set, but nowhere near failure on any as this is just to build some endurance again.


- Did one last set of Romanian DLs, 1x10 @ 315. This one hurt a bit, primarily because I used a hook grip and tore my thumbs up nicely on the sharply knurled bar at my new gym. Didn't feel too pleased with that once since I'd wanted 12 to match the other sets, but after 6 reps the pain was tough and by 10 it felt like my thumbs were being torn apart.


Did everything within 48 minutes, trying to minimize rest periods and work on making it so my endurance isn't so terrible. Give it a few weeks and we'll see what happens!

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  • 3 months later...

It's a slow road back with recovery from my health issues (and the large weight loss that came with them), but I'm back to training again and hope to hit some new PRs around the end of the year once I'm back up to speed.


Back and shoulders today, getting back to feeling better again - still not feeling strong, but not feeling super-weak so I'm on the right track. Split the workout between 2 gyms since the first one closed 25 minutes after I got there late:


Dumbbell Row -

2x15 @ 120 lbs. each arm


Standing strict overhead press -

1x20 @ empty bar

1x8 @ 115

1x5 @ 135

3x5 @ 185

1x1 @ 225

Had to bounce the bar a bit on my collar and fight to get the 225 locked out, but still, I expected as much. Just nice to get it done so I held it overhead for about 20 seconds to back in the glory of finally moving a weight I'm not ashamed of.


Moved to gym #2 to do the rest


Hammer Strength plate-loaded row -

1x20 @ 320

1x20 @ 360

1x20 @ 410

Last set was a bit tough - did 5, take 3 breaths, repeat until done. Still, not too bad.


Seated overhead press lockouts -

2x20 @ 135 from top of head on up


1-arm seated row with rope handle -

2x20 @ 70 lbs.

Pulled in from about a 10-15 degree angle, put a little biceps strain on at the end because I kept it at constant tension. Probably won't bother with these again since they didn't feel great.


Seated OHP from start position to top of head -

2x20 @ 135

Lots of doubles from rep 12 on up, but completed both sets. Shoulders sufficiently sore by now.


Standing face pulls w/ 2 handled rope

2x15 @ 75 lbs.


Rear delt machine -

2x15 @ 100 lbs.


Ab machine -

2x15 with some arbitrary weight I can't remember since I never usually bother with this thing


Got back to my office, goofed around in back while working late and did 2x40 1-arm presses with a 20 lb. paper roll just for fun, that was it for today.


Definitely feeling much better, determined to get stronger than I ever have been, plan on starting to get back to event training on weekends starting this Sunday. Leg day comes on Friday, will post once it's done!

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The Big Man is back!


Dude, I was pumping you up big time during Vegan Vacation....telling people you're the biggest, strongest, most powerful vegans I know and one of the nicest guys around!


Great to see you back. I hope you are feeling much better and are back in action.


Best of luck in the VegNews Awards too! I'm sending out bulletins to hundreds, if not more, to get them to vote!


Thanks for all the motivation man. I hope to see you sometime this year. I won't be at Expo East this time around, but maybe some other event.


Train Hard Eat Plenty my powerful friend.

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Thanks, Robert! I wish I could have been at the vacation, but this summer has been a real rollercoaster of weird things happening to me Next year it will happen for sure, barring any dreadful events that force me to miss out! I won't be at Expo East this time either, but I'm sure I'll run into you at Expo West in the spring if you'll be attending again. Hopefully we'll meet before that, but if not, we should run into each other then for sure. Thanks as well on the Veggie Awards voting - funny thing is, I completely forgot to do any promo work for it like I intended to, so if we win, it will be a complete surprise. I failed to mention it in our newsletter or to put slips in orders going out, so we'll see if we get lucky on it!


bunnylalu - we're actually only listed in one place, the area to vote for favorite online store (if I remember correctly - I already voted from this computer and can't access the survey again to see if that's what the category is called!) There are quite a few options in that field so we can be easy to miss in the listing, but hopefully enough people have noticed us there and cast a few votes



Didn't plan on lifting today, but I may skip town tomorrow to de-stress and felt that I needed to get my leg day in just in case I'm not around.


Good Mornings in the rack, about 2-3" above true parallel -

1x20 @ empty bar

1x10 @ 135

1x10 @ 225

1x10 @ 315

1x8 @ 365 (not feeling stable yet, cut it short)

1x20 @ 275

I forgot that I always have to start off light when getting back to GMs after a layoff. My core feels really weak right now, so next week I'll stay at 300 or just below for some high-rep sets until I feel solid again.


Plate-loaded squat machine (only 8 minutes until closing time after the GMs, had to act fast, no time to get in the front squats I'd wanted to do)

2x20 @ 360 lbs. (felt like 100 lbs. less if it were on a bar)


Time ran out, headed off to crappy all-night gym to finish up the small stuff.


Seated GMs to chest nearly touching the bench pad -

1x20 @ 135

1x20 @ 155

1x20 @ 185

Felt good on these, since I'm usually pretty weak with seated ones. Hope to nail 225x20 on them soon and get close to 300ish in the near future. I was having fun with GMs today, so these seemed like fun.


1-legged RDLs -

2x20 each leg w/ 65 lbs.

I forgot how much these kick my arse. Definitely sore in the hams and glutes after these.


Horizontal leg press to burn myself out for the night -

1x50 @ 210 lbs.

Did 35 reps, take 5 breaths, do 5 reps, repeat until 50 total. Could barely walk after this last one, stumbled to the car and drove home.


I'm going to take it lighter on leg stuff for a few weeks with reps in the 10-20 range until I feel solid again for being stable - getting my core strength back up and feeling tight for squats and GMs always takes a hit when I take time off lifting, but a few weeks of high-rep stuff usually brings it back into place.


Tomorrow and Saturday are rest days, strongman event training on Sunday, hopefully some log press work, stones and anything else that sounds fun at the time. It'll be my first time working with implements since last fall, so we'll see how the first time back goes soon enough.

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Good mornings with 365. You're amazing...


Thanks! It felt more amazing when I was able to do a few with 455 last year, but give me a bit and I'll have it back up again The rest of 2007 is gaining back all I've lost this past year due to injury and illness, 2008 will see new PRs across the board!

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I agree. I really need to get on that. In fact next week, my goal will be to get profiles from dozens of our forum members who SHOULD be featured on the MAIN site under Profiles. We need more physiques like Ryan's up on the front of this website.


Ryan, I'm reaching hundreds, if not more, encouraging them to vote for Vegan Essentials on the VegNews poll. Surveys like that are always fun. I'll continue to send out bulletins via myspace and in general e-mails.


Nice heavy liftin!

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We gotta get more pics of you, that way when anyone trashes veganism we can show them a big guy like you.


I plan on getting some more pics this fall once my training takes off again. I finally dropped about 20 lbs. (combined from stress from my eye affliction plus a serious diet overhaul), so soon enough I won't feel bad for having a shot that may end up with me shirtless, as now I look more like I do in my avatar. When I was coming in at 280-285, I just shook my head every time I looked in the mirror, thinking "Yeah, I'm getting strong, but why do I have to be so fat at the same time?" The love handles are considerably smaller - a little more and I won't be so self-conscious!

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Very light day today, did NOT feel good at all (terrible sleep schedule + a dinner that ravaged my system before lifting = feel awful), but still made it in for a light chest/vertical pulling back day -


DB bench -

1x20 @ 50s

2x15 @ 85s

I plan on dumping the little chest work I've been doing as of next week and focusing on 2x/week shoulder work. One day will be heavier push press work, the other will be some lighter high-rep stuff strict pressing and perhaps some lockout assistance work as well.


Pull-ups with red thin band assist (15 lb. DB dropped to below where my knee in the strap goes, as little assistance as possible)

3x3 - Didn't feel great, just wanted to get a few in, had a 3-5 second hang between each so no rebound on reps


Floor press close-grip bench, done from around 4" above chest to lockout (crappy gym's pin settings in the rack only go down to around 16" at lowest)

1x20 @ 135

2x10 @ 225

1x20 @ 135

Just having fun, nothing heavy or too tough


Wide-grip pull-ups with feet slung over a racked bar a few feet in front (taking a good portion of the weight off)



That was it - just a short session to keep on track, tomorrow is probably a rest day, then rack deadlifts on Tuesday.

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Overhead / Rack DL day today, not great but one more step on the road back again.


Power snatch to warm up -

3x2 @ 135


Started off with overhead pressing in the rack -

2x5 strict @ 135 (fast with a quick snap to lock out each one)

1x3 strict @ 185

1x1 strict @ 205

1x1 tiny bit of push press @ 225

1x3 push press @ 250 - weird knee started to hurt a bit, cut it short with just one more single rep and that was it.


12" DL in the rack -

3x3 @ 405

Felt VERY weak in the lower back today with these. I know it always takes me about a month of pulling to get my back up to speed, but I was surprised that it felt this bad today. Might still be the GMs haunting me from last week with a need for more recovery time. I feel super-weak in this area since it wasn't that long ago I could haul up 500x5 from a 12" start with little problem, but give me time and it'll all come back


Had fun with the plate-loaded squat machine that has side handles at neck height - loaded up to 525 on it and did some palms-in presses with it (the actual weight feels more like 200, definitely nowhere close to the weight that's on the machine). Did 3 sets of 10 - first one was easy, 2nd one was tough on the last rep, final set required about 5 breaths to every rep from the 6th to the end, each one was a solid struggle. The palms-in mimics the hand positioning of the log press a bit, so it's a fun diversion.


Wrapped up with one set of seated DB presses, just a light 20 rep set with 50s and that was it.


Heading home soon to do some bodyweight reverse hypers, that should speed the back strengthening up a bit!

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"Weak" in the sense here is simply a comparsion to old strength, a motivator to get me back to where I was and beyond! A little name-calling to myself in my log can do wonders, so hopefully it'll add some more weight to my deadlift again soon enough


Today was a really, really abbreviated training day, just a few quick lifts since I was low on time. Had free passes to see Halloween and Death Sentence tonight for a special showing, so I didn't want to miss that opportunity.


Warmed up with power snatches -

3x3 @ 135


Moved quickly to dumbbell rows -

2x18 @ 120 lb. DB each arm


Hammer Strength plate-loaded low row -

1x10 @ 360

1x10 @ 410

Stupid strap kept slipping (hands were sweaty, needed a bit of assistance) so these sets did not feel great. Oh well.


Wrapped up with Hise Shrugs in the power rack -

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 495

1x10 @ 585

1x5 @ 635

1x20 @ 405

Felt good to put some weight across my back again, the movement didn't feel totally normal for the shrugs but still, a step in the right direction.


Tomorrow is a fun day to run off for a bit, will be treating myself to a nice massage at a spa to unwind from the rough couple of months leading up to now (and the start of lifting again!), hope to do some event training this Sunday if the crew will be getting together. We'll see how it goes!

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Friday I just did a light day at the resort I spend the night at, having a bit of fun with some light weight / high-rep stuff.


Close-grip bench -

1x26 @ 135, doing one full rep, one half rep, so 13 of each in the set

2x20 @ 135, just enough to make the triceps burn a little


Preacher DB curl -

1 drop set of alternating arm reps w/ 35 lb., starting at 12 reps left arm, change to right, take off 2 reps and go to 10 each arm, drop to 8 for next set, etc. then one last single at the end. Not heavy, but brutal to make 43 reps for each arm in the 2 minutes it took to complete it. No rest between arm changes, just switch and go until they're all done. Had to assist one or two around the 6 rep range, but after that it was all good.


Tricep pushdowns w/ cable

2x25 @ 100 lbs.


Just for fun to work the "beach muscles" before hitting the pool


Saturday was rest, Sunday was back in action again for some leg work and misc. stuff -


Power snatches -

3x3 @ 135 to warm up


Overhead squats -

Worked up to a triple at 175, not feeling stable with the weight overhead but it wasn't hard to make the squats themselves. Just playing around again - perhaps I'll work on these more.


Good mornings -

Worked up to 1x10 @ 315 at a hair below parallel (a bit deeper than I usually go with these), back felt a bit strained, decided to go with seated style and drop the weight a bit to do the following sets:

1x20 @ 135

1x20 @ 185

1x10 @ 225

1x10 @ 250

1x10 @ 275

1x30 @ 135

Found that I'm getting much stronger at these seated-style than I used to be, which is nice. Take a lot of the work off the hams and glutes, but does some good work for the lower back.


Did a few light squat doubles with a 3 second pause at rock bottom, exploding up fast enough to pop the bar off my shoulders at top -

3x2 @ 315

Not going to start squatting heavy to try for 500 again until late October, now is just a time to re-adapt to the movement and feel good with it again by playing around with lighter stuff for a few more weeks.


Did one final set of low back extensions before leaving the gym, 50 reps with the full stack on the machine to loosen up and that was it.


Today was rest, tomorrow is back in for some upper back work and maybe some overhead pressing if it sounds good at the time!

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Did a moderate back and shoulder day yesterday - I'm backing off on weight a bit for a little while as I'm getting more flashing spots in my bad eye, which can be a sign of problems coming back so no need to go heavy until my next exam in 15 days.


Barbell rows -

3x10 @ 225 - not heavy, but endurance is down so I'd get winded more than anything


Seated DB overhead press -

3x10 @ 75 lb. DBs


Horizontal rows on chin bar (legs extended and feet slung over a bar at the back of the rack)

2x20 @ bodyweight


Blue cable standing overhead presses -

2x25 (feels like about 30 lbs. at bottom and around 50 lbs. at top)


Wide-grip Hammer Strength plate loaded machine rows -

1x10 @ 360 lbs.

1x10 @ 410

2x20 @ 180, done explosively but with no torso swing/movement


Cable face pulls -

2x20 @ 60 lbs.


That was it - just a bit to keep things going, but then the night took a turn for the worse.


Went to check the door on the oven since it looked like it was open a bit (nothing cooking inside, just looked like it wasn't fully closed), checked to make sure nothing was obstructing it, accidentally had it shut on my right fingers, and there's a REALLY sharp metal part just about an inch from the top. Did a really deep slice into my right ring finger that I will probably need to get stitched up tomorrow, so chances are there's no lifting in my future for a week or so until it gets healed up more. Went to a clinic today and waited an hour, was told it could be another hour, left in a bad mood and figured I'll just get it taken care of tomorrow. Inefficient processes at clinics gets me furious - only 2 patients made it in within the hour I was there, and since this was just a small walk-in clinic, they probably spend a half hour waiting inside to get 5 minutes of actual treatment. Oh well, that's a different rant for a different time....


Looks like it's back to long walks for a week or so, may as well drop a few more lbs. while I can.

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Finger update - was too late to get stitches at 20 hours post-injury, so they just cleaned and bandaged it and I have to hope for the best in recovery. Gotta keep it in a splint for a few days to avoid reopening it, but come Sunday I'm going to do some front squats (arms extended in front, no proper racking) and some light weight/high rep regular squats to keep busy, and that'll be about it for the next 7-10 days with a few leg workouts. Oh well, better than nothing!

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No lifting for the past 6 days since I sliced my finger open, but today I could move it enough to hold on to the bar for squatting (with a splint on, of course), so I had at it for a marathon session to build up my workload capacity a bit and test my will.


2x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x1 @ 365

1x1 @ 405

25x3 @ 315

Yes, 25 sets of triples, all making sure to hit parallel or better on each, going between normal and wide stance from set to set. I need to hammer my form back out again since I've been having problems with it due to inconsistent squatting this past year, and this is a good start. Next week I'm keeping with the same sets but changing to 25x2 @ 365, then down to 15x5 @ 315 again. I need to go lighter and just hammer things down for a few weeks with lots of practice and it'll all come together in no time.


Did 2x15 sets of light leg curls afterward, cramped so bad on the 2nd on I fell off the machine and rolled around on the ground for a bit in pain. Once I stretched and could move again I headed out, legs so tighened up I could barely walk.


Two days off to let my finger heal up more, then some machine pressing work that won't interfere with healing until it gets well enough to grab a bar again for some regular training. May as well beat my legs up for now!

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